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Modern Times Reviews

Modern Times by Cathy Sweeney

Modern Times

Cathy Sweeney

Score pending

1 review

Category: Fiction
Imprint: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Publication date: 23 Jul 2020
ISBN: 9781474618489

'Surprising and uncanny, funny and transgressive' Irish Times 'A unique imagination, a brilliant debut' Kevin Barry 'Jaw-droppingly good' Sinead Gleeson A brilliant literary debut - a short story collection for readers that love Daisy Johnson, Angela Carter, Shirley Jackson or Lydia Davis

4 stars out of 5
25 Mar 2020

"heralds all that an eagerly awaited novel from Sweeney might do"

The power of storytelling itself comes to be questioned by this worldliness: a narrator wonders why he undergoes emotions not relevant to his life on reading someone else’s testimony, although he has lost exactly what they have lost, without knowing it. If the fairy tale confronts familial and social conflicts, and the modern absurd deals with existential and political dread, Sweeney’s aesthetic focuses on the predictable collision of ordinary human frailty with circumstance. Much of its humour comes from this summarising jadedness: “You know how it is. The economy collapsed, the state broadcaster turned all staff positions into freelance ones, and before he knew it, he was scrabbling for commercials, drinking heavily and posting tweets late at night.”